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I. in this house: sliding glass doors and deadbolts

Nothing says hostage like door and deadbolts.
At fourteen, I acquired a penchant for sheer shirts

and mini shorts. You were drinking vodka before dinner
hit the table and by 8:00, faced down inside the only queen

that took this house. I won’t lie – by 8:30, I splayed a boy
who thought I was fractured. His truth of me ultimately meant

nothing, like anyone’s god. By 10:00, I was back beneath
the sheets I own, but you’ve got one hell of a nose. Off

went my face. On went the deadbolt. You never gave me
much credit: in one week’s time I sniffed out the screwdriver

and ruptured that lock like any good scab. When someone is lashed
into their own skin, a proper spread is the only way to slip the cuffs clean off.

___________________________________________________________
© First published in Thirteen Myna Birds and included in my chapbook, 309.81 (dancing girl press, 2011)

Accomplishing and Learning

I just wanted to share something that I made today using Photoshop. I ride the short bus to the digital world, so this was a big deal for me.  I have a very basic understanding of the program so I’m pretty proud, plus it was really fun. There were a few things that I wished I knew how to do, but I wasn’t able to figure them out until the project was nearly done. So, for now – this is what it looks like and I’m still happy with it. This will be the header to our “Advocate” page on the ASOCHA website. yay. =D

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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!!!

bigstock-Tell-Them-Your-Story-25687757ASOCHA – (Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse) is looking for submissions of Essays, Op Eds, and Survivor Stories (from a first person perspective) for its launch before or by the end of Spring. We are also taking submissions for our Creative Showcase, which would include poetry, photography, collage, painting, drawing, or digital art. Please see below for a more in-depth description regarding what ASOCHA wishes to accomplish. If interested, please email Rachel@asocha.org with your submission which should include the type of submission in the subject line of the email, your submission as an attachment, and a bio. We are looking for submissions from both adult survivors of childhood abuse and those who are empathetic to our cause. Please keep all writing submissions below 3,500 words. All “creative showcase” submissions to no more than three pieces. For our creative showcase, we are looking for art that speaks to child victimization and/or healing; or inspired by such events. We will also respect the wishes of those who wish to publish under a pseudonym. Please allow us one month to respond to your submissions. Currently, the website is still in its raw form and under construction. Here is a better explanation of our goals for ASOCHA:

With the hopes of educating the public on what childhood abuse looks like from a first person perspective and how the current culture views victims of abuse as told through the eyes of victims and survivors, they (the founders) created a one-of-a-kind platform. To their shock and surprise, the domain “Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse” (.com & .org) was there for the taking. It sadly became apparent that no other organization existed for once victims of childhood abuse to speak out, which is both empowering and healing as it offers acknowledgement and validation – two necessities well known to the psychiatric community as instruments in healing for those who were once victimized.

Along with empowering adult survivors by offering a platform to speak openly about crimes committed against them as children, ASOCHA believes art therapy to be an important healing tool. Because of this, the website also provides its community a space to showcase creative endeavors that speak to child victimization and healing.

While ASOCHA‘s main focus is to provide a public space for adult survivors of childhood abuse, the organization also welcomes Essays, Op Eds, and Personal Narratives from those who have not been victimized but are empathetic to the cause and support survivors in their plight to receive justice by way of reformation and/or abolishment of the Statute of Limitation Laws placed on crimes committed against children. ASOCHA also welcomes discourse regarding what is typically labeled “rape culture”. ASOCHA hopes to educate and inform the public on how a rape culture fosters apologetic views that further revictimizes a survivor and minimizes crimes.

ASOCHA will address a range of topics such as (but not limited to) childhood sexual abuse (of all forms), childhood physical abuse, childhood emotional abuse, childhood homelessness due to running away from an abusive household, psychotherapy, disorders developed in adulthood as a direct result of childhood trauma, familial ties, behavioral issues, revictimization, cycle of abuse, cultural views, and our justice system. The organization hopes to help survivors heal and in doing so, educate the public. The majority of ASOCHA‘s community will be the “unheard” and “unreported”; the statistics are incorrect because fear drives children to never report their abuses or their abusers. ASOCHA was created to finally offer those children, who are now adults, a chance to tell their stories.

Organization for Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse – looking for volunteers & contributing writers

ASOCHA

Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse is an organization that I, along with a partner, are currently working on launching in the very near future. However, we need volunteers to do some research. The research we need done is not difficult, it is laborious. The research does not require one to be a survivor of childhood abuse. I will offer details to those who contact me privately. The volunteer work would mean a great deal to a very important cause. Currently, the website is under construction and we are in the process of filing our 501 (c)(3) status. We are also looking for Contributing Writers – again, one does not need to be a survivor of childhood abuse, just interested in the cause and have writing experience. If you are interested, please send an email to: asochaonline@gmail.com (this is a temporary email address until we’ve set up our Microsoft 365 accounts). While we can not offer payment at this time, all volunteers will be acknowledged properly on the website and there may be a set of beautiful handmade coasters from Touching Carta in your future.

Mission Statement:

ASOCHA is dedicated to being both an educational and community resource regarding adult survivors of childhood abuse – crimes committed by parents, family members, caretakers, and others against children. We are devoted to offering a guarded platform to adults who have suffered childhood abuse so they can share their stories publicly; and to others in the community who wish to speak openly regarding this cultural epidemic.

ASOCHA aims to bring adult survivors of childhood abuse together and grant them a safe and supportive platform to speak out, build communities, advocate for legislative change, offer various resources, and most importantly heal.

At ASOCHA, our community will have a voice. We wish to empower healing through acknowledgment and validation by shaping strong alliances, speaking out, encouraging and promoting creative expression, and supporting judicial reform. ASOCHA wishes to address specific issues that fall directly beneath the rape culture umbrella via Op Eds, Survivor Stories, and Art presented on the organization’s website. We strongly believe that while adult survivors of childhood abuse were groomed in silence to stay silent, it’s now their turn to talk openly.

Permanence and Impermanence

I’m starting to feel like a broken record. Which is obviously a problem. It’s my problem.

I’ve renamed this blog because this blog is not mine anymore and I am officially, for real, stepping away. It is going to remain a platform to house the post which revealed a blogging character in your world who caused a lot of personal damage to a lot of people. It was also, at times, a front row seat to the opera entitled “rape culture”.  This is not to imply that Eric Robillard is a rapist- he is, however, a predator.

I am addressing the culture in which we live. A culture where people are terrified to speak up about a man who violated and preyed upon women in more than one way. The following reaction of a community when someone dares speak up. The consequences to the person who had the gall to open her mouth and house the story on her personal blog. How supporting that woman was done privately, because people were afraid, for myriad reasons. While certain women came forth with their own stories of bullying practices and other unwanted sexual advances from Eric, it is my opinion that most who chose to speak up, did so because they were able to reap the rewards of my bravery. It should be of no surprise that most everything in the blog world is a means to an end: self-serving. If my statements have hurt your feelings, please know, that is not my intent. With all of that said, I can’t continue to try and force feed you what the larger, more important issue is.

Welcome to the rape culture.

While this song began with three people in acapella, it ended as a musical.  I can only do so much and I draw the line when it starts to affect the state of my emotional well being. I should have drawn that line weeks ago.

While this is a testament to the state of a rape culture, it is also a testament to the dangers of online interactions. I certainly learned something in my short time here. Blogging is platform that is ripe for people to hide behind a facade and create whatever persona or personae they wish. A blogger can make accusations and influence their literal “followers” due to blind loyalty. (This sounds a lot like a religion.) I tried, as best I could, to show evidence each time I made a serious claim about something because I think it’s only fair, when accusations are thrown around, that there is evidence to back up those serious accusations. Not everyone feels this is required in order to believe serious claims made in your community.

Maybe it’s an easier way to live: to trust so enthusiastically. And maybe my PTSD puts me at the polar opposite of that spectrum where I live with hypervigilance. Somewhere in the middle exists common sense mixed with knowledge in order to make an informed decision.

That hypervigilance enabled me to spot danger, relatively quickly, here in your community. Remember – I knew no one and had no knowledge of previous bullying practices by Eric and his lynch mob.

That same hypervigilance threw me into a panic once I started to receive vitriolic hate mail and email from people pointing me in directions of blogs and blog posts that I’d never even heard of, once I’d revealed publicly who Eric Robillard really was. Each piece of interaction piled up and I was no longer able to see things clearly. It was too much information at one time. Too much of a burden for one person. Too much hate for one person to handle alone. Those people who claimed to have my back and support me – did so privately. When the time came to really step up when things went south, all but one person truly remained by my side and her name is Edee. That’s because she’s the only real friend of mine that engages in the blog world – (although, she too has left “the blog world”). My real life friends don’t have blogs.

I became immersed in an online world for which I was not prepared: people playing both sides of the field, people sending private messages expecting (without asking first) those private messages to remain private not taking into consideration that I’m not in a position to keep anything private since I’m not in a profession that requires aforementioned confidentiality. The very fact that people wanted to speak privately despite the fact that this community’s foundation is inherently public, feels false. The duality of that is not something with which I’m comfortable as it fosters manipulation, lies, rumors, and a general lack of accountability.

If you’re a victim of sexual abuse or abuse in general, I respect your wish to contact me privately and not have that information public.

When you email me privately and tell me outright or imply to me that you are contacting me in secret, to support me, because you don’t want your blog to “take a hit”, I have no respect for you.

Welcome to your community.

I leave you with one more piece of information. I contacted this woman and asked if I could share what she wrote to me, as she was actually preyed upon by Eric and if I’m going to respect anyone’s privacy – it’s that of someone who has been victimized. She revised her initial email to me so as to remove information that she does not want public. Along with this, I have an email from a woman in Canada. Eric lied to everyone in the blogging world about everything. He was not a media consultant. He has six complaints of sexual harassment at one of his previous employers. He has no friends where he lives in Canada because he was “outed” long ago and no one will hire him or wants anything to do with him. I will not post the email I received from Canada because, once again, people are afraid. His last resort was to build a fake life on the internet. That persona is now gone, too. One can only hope that your community does not allow that type of behavior to exist again. I surely won’t be here to say anything, for reasons outlined in the previous paragraphs.

Also, when you lionize a sexual predator, you are rape cultured. When you choose to remain friends with a sexual predator, you are rape cultured. It’s called being an apologist.

Eric Robillard is a predator. He made unwanted sexual advances to more than one woman. He used his “empathetic platforms” to seek out and prey upon vulnerable women. Just because he didn’t do it to every single woman does not negate the aforementioned facts. Also, think about this article. And when you read that article, remember that I put the stamp of my real name when I chose not to stay silent about what Eric did to me. Don’t forget about what he did to this person, as well- another example of Eric preying upon women, here in your playground.

moreunwantedsexualadvances

There is no need to “follow” this blog. This is not a blog – it’s a static website and this is the last post.

More Hate Mail. Gosh, I hope your children never have to go through something like this.

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Real nice.

You know, I would respect you more if you had the balls to actually put your name on something. What are you afraid of, exactly? It’s only me at this point. There is no mob and only a few people remain  by my side. They all fled for fear of having “taken sides” or afraid that someone might “unfriend” them. Better yet, most are afraid that their precious blog would take some sort of hit. So, there is no “us vs. them” and there certainly isn’t a “mob” (well, aside from the one of which you’re a part). It’s only me now. I still stand by my convictions and by my truths. My convictions actually make a change in our world. They are not pretty. They make people uncomfortable. But you know what reminds me that I’ve done a good thing? The fact that I have so many emails in my inbox from people who were also preyed upon by Eric, sexually, and are terrified to speak up. Those women feel validated and they don’t feel alone, anymore.  So, if I must be their voice too – then I’ll do that. My speaking out against bullies and men who prey upon women is a far cry away from policing the internet because people make jokes about their wedding pictures and bearded hipsters – your inability to see the difference in those social causes speaks to your own limited mental capacity.  If it makes you feel good to verbally lash a woman who has PTSD and chronic depression from childhood sexual abuse and came to this blog world to help write her way through recovery, then I think you’re a psychopath. You are someone who doesn’t have the ability to empathize and you have a major axe to grind except you don’t actually own an axe because you’re too scared to sharpen it. There’s a difference between ignorance and plain ol vitriol. You, Anonymous Remailer, are so angry and jealous that I took something away from you. My strength had the power to do that. Do you have any strength?

Enjoy your misery.

You’re Caught.

You're fucking caughtDear Your Ego Is Huge,

You left two anonymous messages on my blog when I originally posted about Eric aka Le Clown. Your IP address is the same in both of those anonymous comments (which I did not allow to show up on the thread because they are extremely hurtful and because you took the coward’s way out by trying to post anonymously.) I’m not going to post the second message you left. But I guarantee that THIS IP address and the IP address that we uncover (the one you used to send out numerous hate mails to me) when we contact the “Free email provider”  will show that this is the same person.

Gig is up, DEARY.

Best,

Rachel

OH NO

Response from the Husband

“It is apparent that you did not pass Stalker 101.  If you are going to send my wife threatening hate mail, at least do it from an anonymizing SMTP provider WITH a privacy policy.  Even better yet, try one that is not in the US.  Any two bit lawyer will have your IP address turned over in less than 48 hours.  Look forward to a letter from our lawyer in the very near future.  Unregistered guns??…this isn’t ‘Boyz n the hood’ “. – Huband

email service

I answer Hate Mail openly on my blog while….

….husband works on finding out who’s sending it.

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Dear Free Email Service – Do Not Reply:

Thanks for your concern! You’ll be delighted to know that all the guns in my house are fully registered in my husband’s name and kept locked in a safe, of which I do not have access. We live in a small town in North Carolina. They LOVE guns here! We also happen to know some of our local police force, so they are more than welcome into our lovely, upper-class suburban home. Oh yeah, and husband also has his conceal to carry permit, as well. You know, just in case. Thanks for sending more mail, anonymously, that takes a lot of courage. You’re a very, very brave woman or man. I hope you’re not doing this because I took down a predator in your blogging world. I mean, if blogging means that much to you, you might want to reevaluate who you’re calling “unstable”. I’ll be sure to file this under “shit I got for outing Eric Robillard because he made unwanted sexual advances toward me while also bullying half of WordPress”. The courts will no doubt look fondly upon these types of shenanigans. (or, did I hit a nerve with you today because I found out that you’re now not just sending hate mail, but stalking me?)  Till next time….

Best,

Rachel